Note: This is a quick-reaction column filed immediately after the Vikings-Falcons game. I’ll have a full column up tonight and in the Monday Star Tribune.
The Vikings on Sunday produced the kind of embarrassing no-show performance that gets coaches fired and quarterbacks benched.
They lost, 40-23, to a previously winless team as their expensive quarterback threw three interceptions in the first half against a team that had managed two interceptions in its previous five games.
There is no excuse for Kirk Cousins’ performance. There is no alternative at his position.
Cousins is making a prorated $30 million this year. He would cost $41 million against the salary cap next year if they cut him. They are stuck with him, or at least his contract, until the 2022 season, when cutting him would cost them ``only’’ $10 million against the cap.
Vikings coach Mike Zimmer in July signed a contract extension that will pay him through the 2023 season. As poorly as the team has played this season, would the Wilfs fire a coach mere months after giving him a long-term deal?
I thought the Falcons would allow the Vikings to right their season, or at least put them in position to be competitive the rest of the way.
That didn’t happen, and their performance was remindful of their 31-3 loss to Green Bay in 2010 that led to Brad Childress’ dismissal.
Well, there is a difference. In 2010, it was obvious that the team quit on Childress.
Sunday, I didn’t see a lack of effort, just poor quarterback play and reliance on a defense that is a shadow of its former self.
The Falcons were dangerous because of their offense. That the Falcons’ defense held the Vikings to seven points through the first 56 minutes of the game is an indictment of Cousins.
The Vikings might be stuck with him.